Southern Agenda

Once More, With Feeling

We all know the words, but only the brave will belt out the song “I Will Always Love You” anywhere beyond the privacy of their shower or car. Fifty years after Dolly Parton penned the showstopper, it remains one of her biggest hits, gracing the number-one spot when it debuted and again when she rerecorded it in 1982. (Whitney Houston’s heartbreaking 1992 rendition is still the best-selling single of all time by a woman.) To mark the song’s golden anniversary, the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge is kicking off its season with an I Will Always Love You Celebration (through April 8). Once the song anniversary concludes, the park’s Flower & Food Festival springs to life (April 21–June 11) with giant topiary-like sculptures dripping with flowers; one portrays Parton’s mother, Avie Lee, sewing the inspiration for another Parton classic, “Coat of Many Colors.”